Caving is one of my favorite activities. Nothing serious, of course. Just simple visiting and exploring. There are thousands of all sorts of caves and pits in Croatia. Karst landscape is extremely porous and active.
One of my favorite caves is Modrič cave near Rovanjska. It has been a while since our last visit so we went in with Marijan again few weeks back. The original article was published in February 2009 but, since then, I did get a much better equipment so I hope the photos are better now. Also, thanks to custom lights on my helmet, I managed to get some really nice shots.
Modrič Cave stays as one of the most interesting adventures for whole families when traveling with us. Of course, it is not for folks who fear enclosed spaces but, for everyone else, it is a lot of fun!
This past Sunday I had a pleasure to attend a very special wine pairing lunch at Škaulj wine cellar. This is one of the most important wine cellars of Nadin region of North Dalmatia and is know for a great selection of quality wines.
Nadin region is known for superb fertile land for millennia and settlements from pre historic times are here to prove it. The main vineyards are located in Nadinsko blato – a depression in the fields that gets flooded in the winter months. While the tradition exists in this region for several centuries, the new breed of winemakers are planting mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot…but also local Plavina and Maraština. Among several producers, Škaulj, Vrsaljko, Odžaković…are best known.
The event started by a short presentation by Mr. Šime Škaulj and his son Tomislav. All 9 labels of theirs will be offered in 2018. season and they are also creating an interesting surprises. But more on that once the wines are released.
While the cellar is not much, the entire property does offer a lovely learning experience on local traditions and both Šime and Tomislav talk with passion about their wines.
Here is a great video on their cellar and wines!
The meal was prepared by chef Vrsaljko, a Nadin local with international experience and all meals were paired with Škaulj’s best wines.
The menu was superb and well executed.
The selection of ice cream and sorbet at the end was provided by artisan ice cream place in Zadar called Eve. A MUST when in Zadar!
Overall, the meal was great and we made some new friends. Nadin has a great potential when it comes to wines and wine tourism and true stars of the region are its people!
Of all wines, Cabernet Sauvignon is simply superb and an excellent value at just 120 Kuna! Maraština and Rose were also great but they will be more appropriate with warmer weather. Perfect for hot, summer days!
Earlier this spring we had a pleasure to show our hospitality to several quite interesting guests from USA. Mr. Frank Dietrich of Blue Danube Wines, joined by his staff, wine writer Marcy Gordon and Zdravko and Marion Podolski of GoHvar blog all joined us at a very special little tasting in Benkovac.
The tasting was held at a 15th century Benkovac castle – an impressive historic monument that was nicely restored and now houses a local museum. It is often used as a great presentation venue for various events.
When the guests arrived, the food was also served. Just small bites but very tasty and quite authentic: escargot done the traditional way for the region…
But the stars of the day were, of course, local wines! All the major wine makers showed up: Škaulj, Figurica, Masvin…
Almost all wines were organic and had the eco label which was a bit surprising but I am glad that the wine makers of the region are taking the right path after the war and neglected vineyards. Most of the wines were local maraština (white), merlot, plavac but also Masvin served their own Crljenak which was surprisingly good.
One of more interesting wines was Asseria by small Bačić winery as it was a blend of several wines and also local maraska cherry brandy.
The event was a great success and the best proof how a very unique settings can serve as a fabulous place for small and intimate events. The organisation was at a high level and all wines served proved that the quality is (finally) coming back to the region of Ravni Kotari. The region was once a major exporter of wines but, in the past 60-70 years has lost all the quality in favor of mass production… Badel, a major Croatian company for wine and liquor, made the tide turn with their Korlat vineyards and now is being followed by small local winemakers all over the region.
The Benkovac tourist board with Bankovac Museum did a wonderful job in organizing everything!